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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah - The third leg of the Hyundai Archery World Cup kicked off scoring today with qualification and mixed team eliminations through the semifinals. Since the recent announcement that the mixed team competition has been added to the Olympic program, there has been much excitement surrounding this portion of the World Cup competition.
Olympians Brady Ellison (Globe, Arizona) and Mackenzie Brown (Flint, Texas) ranked 7th and 8th respectively in the recurve fields to take a 3rd place seed for the mixed team eliminations. The duo shot well through their matches, but met a strong competitor in Taipei in the semifinals as the match went to a 3-3 tie before Taipei clinched the win in the final arrows. Brown and Ellison will compete for bronze in the finals this weekend against Mexico, who lost a shoot off in the semifinals to Korea.
Reo Wilde (Pocatello, Idaho), who is currently ranked third in the world and second in the World Cup, was the top qualifier for the compound men, after battling his way to the top slot in a very tight field. With a consistent 352 in both halves, despite gusty winds in the afternoon to tie with Korea's Kim Jongho with matching 704s. "The wind was challenging, you had to guess where to aim and it impacted form a lot," shared Wilde on the difficulty of the shooting conditions. At times it was better and you didn't have to aim as far out but just hold on the line and hope that when it broke, it was windy it would go in and if not, it would go spot where it was at. It was close, three, four points, between first and fifth."
Just behind Wilde were Utah local and current World Cup No. 1 Steve Anderson (West Jordan, Utah) and Braden Gellenthien (Hudson, Massachusetts). Anderson's 700 ranked him 4th, while Gellenthien's three-way tie with 696s ended up in a one arrow shoot off that earned him the 8th place seed and the final bye into the 1/16th elimination round on Friday. Together, the team took a strong lead on the rest of the field and locked up the top team qualification spot.
"We have a solid team, we've shot together and done really well together," added Wilde. "It is cool for us to be shooting in the U.S. I think we've won the team event every time the World Cup series was in Ogden [when Utah was on the tour several years ago] and it would be great to continue that."
The U.S. compound women's squad of Cassidy Cox (Albuquerque, New Mexico), Erika Jones (Owasso, Oklahoma) and Jamie Van Natta (Toledo, Ohio) took the 18-20th seeds respectively with scores just points apart while Danielle Reynolds (Glendale, Arizona) ranked 22nd. The top three ladies qualified the U.S. third in the team event in strong position to contend for a medal.
Cox joined Wilde in the compound mixed team event where they moved from a 6th place seed to a 5th place finish after a quarterfinal fall to Colombia.
Bringing the recurve men's team to a 4th place qualification, Matthew Requa (Houston, Texas) ranked 20th individually ahead of 41st seed Jake Kaminski (Gainesville, Florida). Joining Brown in the recurve women's team event are USA Archery's Collegiate Archery Program standouts, Texas A&M's Ariel Gibilaro (North Branford, Connecticut) and James Madison University's Anna Miscione (Ramona, California).
Competition resumes tomorrow with early individual elimination matches and team matches through the semifinals. Results are available at www.worldarchery.org. For more, follow USA Archery on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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